Here’s Why Your Online Store Really Needs a Blog (and 5 Ideas to Get You Going)
Today, content in general, and blogging in specific is more important than ever before. If you want your online store to succeed in 2018, or are looking for ways to improve your ecommerce marketing strategy, starting a blog is one of the best ways to meet your goals.
If you’ve never blogged before, though, this can be a scary prospect.
Here’s what you need to know about blogging, and why your online store can benefit so much from having a blog.
Not sure why blogging matters for online marketers?
Here are a few blogging stats to chew on:
- 53% of marketers say blogging is their top content priority
- B2B marketers are more likely to use blogs in their social media content strategy than B2C marketers.
- 65% of marketers boosted their blogging efforts in 2017.
- Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages.
- The number of bloggers online is expected to reach 31.7 million by 2020.
- 47% of buyers view 3-5 pieces of content before talking to a sales team.
- Blog articles get 94% more views when they contain images.
As you can see, blogging has the potential to make a massive impact on your brand’s bottom line and online sales.
5 Common Problems Bloggers Face
(and How to Get Around Them)
If you’ve never started a blog before, figuring out how to navigate roadblocks can be difficult. Luckily, you can get around these issues by knowing, in advance, how to solve some of the most common problems associated with blogging. Here’s your guide.
Problem #1: A Lack of Blog Topics
One of the hardest aspects of developing an online blog is figuring out what to write about. After all, if you create three blogs a week, that’s twelve new topics you need to come up with each month, or 144 topics a year.
Solution: Look for inspiration online, in the FAQ section of your website, interactions with your customers and the daily aspects of running your business. Keep these ideas collected in some accessible sheet (a Google Drive doc will work well), and refer to them when you need a topic for a new blog.
If you’re still struggling, check out your competitors’ blogs and look for places where their content is missing the mark, or where you could fill in a hole they haven’t quite hit. You can also consult one of the many online lists of blog topics and tailor the suggestions to your business.
Problem #2: The Wrong Tone of Voice
Too many new bloggers start by blogging either for SEO or themselves. Both are the wrong approach. When you blog for SEO, you create stiff, stale and difficult-to-read material that doesn’t provide the value or relevance your customer wants.
When you blog for yourself, you wind up with technical, dry or self-interested material that also doesn’t meet your customers’ needs.
Solution: Blog for your readers. When you approach your content from their point of view, you create relevant and helpful content that educates and informs your readers.
Consider how Neil Patel does this in his viral online content.
In addition to addressing readers directly with the word “you,” Patel is fantastic at creating content that’s visually engaging and informative. Follow his lead.
Problem #3: Text-Dense, Boring Posts
Let’s face it: people don’t read big bricks of text anymore. And this makes sense: the average human currently has a shorter attention span than a goldfish. This is a startling truth, and it means you’ve got to create content with the modern reader in mind.
Solution: Add visuals to your blogs to keep things exciting and appealing.
Not only do blog posts with images get more reads and shares than those without, but adding visuals is a great way to pull readers through your posts and keep them engaged to the end.
Consider how Tim Urban does this in his viral Wait but Why blog.
Not sure what visuals to add to your posts? Stock photos are great, as are custom visuals, infographics, memes and product shots. Whatever you do, be sure the visuals you’re adding are high-quality, relevant and professional.
Anything outside of this should stay out of your blogs.
Problem #4: Questionable Claims
You can’t blow smoke when it comes to your readers. If you do, they’ll quit you in an instant – seeing you as untrustworthy. If you want your blog to be an asset, you’ve got to find a way to make it authoritative and trustworthy.
Solution: Back yourself up in your posts and provide readers with more information by offering links in your posts. Be sure to also add a hyperlink to any place that includes a claim your reader might want to learn more about, or which is likely to be a foreign topic.
You’ll see how HubSpot does this in their content.
This is important for two reasons: Not only does inputting links boost the SEO value of your posts, but it also helps your readers find the information they need and learn more about your topic.
Problem #5: Low SEO Value
While you can’t write your blogs solely for SEO, you do have to consider SEO as you pen and publish them. If you don’t, you risk your posts being buried on the back page of Google, never to be seen by a new lead.
Solution: Add keywords. Keywords are essential for your blog’s SEO and visibility.
Today, search engines use many ranking factors (not just keywords) to deliver search results, but keywords remain important. To ensure your content performs as well as possible and is relevant for your users, input keywords and keyword phrases throughout your blogs.
As a general rule, you’ll want to include them naturally throughout the body, headings and meta content of your page.
If you’ve never done keyword research before, hire a professional to do it for you, or use a keyword research tool like Moz to get started.
A Better Blog Starts Here
If you’re looking for a way to boost your online store and earn more views, starting a blog is a great place to start. In addition to educating your consumers, starting a blog helps you index pages and get more views on your products. Hopefully these blogging tips for online stores help you get off to a running start. For even more helpful tips, take a look at the infographic we’ve made for you below; it will give you advice on how to create a content marketing machine for your online store.